UK & World News

  • 21 December 2013, 16:01

Syria: British Doctor's Body Released To Family

The body of the British doctor who died in custody in Syria has been returned to his family.

Dr Abbas Khan's family received the body at the British Embassy in neighbouring Lebanon.

It comes a day after the 32-year-old father of two was due to be released from prison and allowed home for Christmas.

Mr Khan was an orthopaedic surgeon from south London who entered Syria to help civilians caught up in the civil war.

He was arrested 13 months ago and died last week in what the Syrian authorities say was suicide.

His family and the Foreign Office have questioned this as Dr Khan was days from being released and was said to be looking forward to coming home.

His brother, Dr Shahnawaz Khan, said: "We are pleased the Syrian authorities have stopped dragging their feet and are handing my brother's body over. We want to get him back to Britain as soon as possible to bury him in the right way.

"My brother is out in Beirut with my mother and the next step is to arrange a flight back home but the horrible thing for us as a family is that another post-mortem is likely to be carried out, further disturbing my brother's body.

"Yes we want to know what happened to him as we don't believe for a second that he committed suicide whilst in custody, but our priority is to give him a proper funeral."

The family has criticised the lack of support given to them by the Foreign Office during Dr Khan's incarceration. They believe he was abused while in custody.

Dr Khan added: "First we need to get my brother buried, then we want to get some answers."

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